Posted on April 1, 2011 by John Lyle
Carluccio's Nottingham - Lovely simple, light, airy, friendly, tasty, Italian food
I had been quite excited about Carluccio’s opening in Nottingham and managed to miss the opening night, but have now been and sampled their lovely food.
I went yesterday with my mate Tim Garratt (Nottingham’s most prolific blogger) for lunch and it (not he) was gorgeous and great value. It was also packed by 13.00 with people waiting for seats when we left.
We both had two courses from the fixed price menu of a bruschetta to start and then some chicken in breadcrumbs thing to follow. Gorgeous, simple food without any pretention but the sweetest tomatoes you will try this side of venice and for me, the nearest I have found anyone coming to the quality and tastiness of the bruschetta I had in Rome some years ago. With (soft) drinks, bread, coffees and service it all came to £34.00. Not bargain bucket stuff, but really good value for such a lovely meal, with quick friendly service.
So I’ve been again today for a brunch. That was maybe even nicer. Scrambled eggs with mushrooms on gorgeous oil soaked italian toasted bread. Three of us went and all had similar versions of an italian brekkie and it came to £27.00. Again not for nothing, but worth every penny.
We left around midday, just as Jamies up the road was opening. They had a queue. I’m still to try it for myself, but the light friendliness and tasty food of Carluccio’s will be hard to beat.
Jamie's Italian Nottingham - A queue for opening
Filed under: branding | Tagged: Carluccio's, Jamie's Italian, Nottingham, Tim Garratt | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 14, 2011 by John Lyle
Admiral Insurance - Looking out for their customers
It’s going to sound like i’m in the pocket of these insurance types as I am again impressed with the customer service from Admiral Insurance. I wrote about their brilliant call centres here.
My mate Tim Garratt has had nothing but trouble with his.
But my experience is totally different.
I have just put my personalised plates on my new car. That should be simple. But I had to take them off my old car and drive a different car in the meantime and also happened to change my wife’s car at around the same time too. So that was six calls in less than three months.
So on Saturday, I knew what to expect. The lady who answered in the UK call centre called Victoria didn’t dissapoint. I knew the script. “You do know Mr Lyle that there will be a £17.50 admin fee to cover the cost of the change?”
I said I did as I had paid it five times in three months.
“Well I don’t think you should pay it again then”, said our hero Victoria. “I’ll just speak to my Manager”.
A few moments later, she comes back on and confirmed that I had more than covered my admin fees and they would waive any fee this time.
They did the change for free, but in the meantime got a very happy customer who was clearly smiling down the phone.
I have said many, many times before that if you want to create brand loyalty you need to surprise and delight your customers. Give them things they’re not expecting and generally try and stand in their shoes.
Admiral are doing this incredibly well for such a big company. As long as the renewal cost is there or thereabouts, will get my multi-car policy business next year again.
Filed under: branding | Tagged: Admiral Insurance, Tim Garratt, UK call centres | 6 Comments »
Posted on February 21, 2011 by John Lyle
Google Chrome - Better than Firefox and Safari? - certainly less crashy and slow
I’m a bit of an Apple fan and believed they could do no wrong, but their battle with Adobe over Flash is killing them slowly and by a thousand small steps.
I don’t want Flash on my iPhone as I agree it may well slow it down even further, but I do want a browser that works.
I have had so many hanging pages in the last few weeks from Safari that I have completely switched to Google Chrome as my default Browser.
There have been a few of the most committed fans getting twitchy. Not least Tim Garratt when he got stiffed over his .mac account.
I do use Firefox as one of my browsers, but only so I can keep my shared Google calendar open as it uses a different user name and password to my other accounts. Maybe it comes back to connections again, but I never really connected with Firefox.
But Chrome is good. It is now much faster than Safari, allows clever plug-ins and seems to never crash. Even with sites that have Flash embedded on their front page.
Is Apple losing their grip? or is Safari due a major upgrade.
If you want to see a brilliant Google funded experiment with the power and processing of Chrome, have a look at this site. Put in your home Postcode, wait a few minutes and sit back and enjoy. The first few minutes are dull and then it will stagger you.
Filed under: brand values, branding | Tagged: Apple, Firefox, Google Chrome, http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/, Tim Garratt | 10 Comments »
Posted on January 24, 2011 by John Lyle
Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson - Maybe he has lost his sense of perspective?
Last night’s episode of Top gear was for me, the end of the road. I’m canceling the series link and I am now officially bored of the programme. It has become too smug for its own good and is less relevant for the man on the street than it ever had before.
It used to be three guys sharing some irreverent banter and clearly having fun driving fast cars, who couldn’t believe their luck that they were getting paid to do exactly what they loved. But now it feels far more like self congratulatory rich blokes who fawn at the celebrities and look down on anything/anyone normal.
How can the £150k Ariel Atom be anything other than foolish when the £32k one that is within reach of normal people is fast enough?
I got up and went and made a cuppa half way through it. I never used to do this. I spoke to Tim Garratt and he said his son did the same. Even my mate at work – a mad petrol head – thought it had lost it’s appeal. None of us bothered to watch the Christmas episode on watchback, the people who I know did, said it was a bit dull.
The new Stig was reborn because they bring in £1million a year from Stig related merchandise. Doesn’t that mean that their anti establishment position is now blown. They have become the corporate establishment they used to fight against.
Perhaps Clarkson, should hang out with his mate AA Gill and reinvent themselves whilst they still have time.
Otherwise, I can see this as the last series of Top Gear in this format. The Brand values of Top gear are pretty much worn out.
Filed under: branding | Tagged: AA GIll, Clarkson, The Stig, Tim Garratt, Top gear | 14 Comments »
Posted on May 4, 2010 by John Lyle
This is a totally personal blog in support of my good mate Tim Garratt who’s son Jak has just cut off his 9″ Mohawk to raise money for Dyslexia Action, who supported him throughout his life. You can donate here.
Looking at a face of sheer terror as Tim approaches him with a pair of scissors is worth all the money he can raise. Good work Jak and great scissor work Tim.
Filed under: branding | Tagged: Dyslexia Action, Jak Garratt, Tim Garratt | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 19, 2009 by John Lyle
Tim Garratt, of Innes England and one of the team from the USA trip has written up the initial findings, using the learnings from architect Daniel Liebskind as the model on which to present.
How do we summarise the whole trip, what we learned and how we can transfer it to Nottingham?
This short presentation that was delivered to the full Sheriff’s Commission on Friday is the start point.
Comments to enlarge the discussion are very welcome.
Filed under: Robin Hood | Tagged: Sheriff of Nottingham, Sheriff's Commission, Tim Garratt | 3 Comments »